Learning to Enjoy the Graduate School Experience

The first day of graduate school in the M.S. in Communication program online at Purdue is so much different than the other seventeen“first day of schools” one typically experiences.  

•    There isn’t stress over a first day outfit.  
•    You don’t need to pack your lunch.  
•    There isn’t any worry over whether you’ll find your classroom in time.  

Yet, your “first day” of every class is still important.

•    It’s a chance to introduce yourself to your peers from around the world.  
•    It’s the perfect opportunity to look over the syllabus and familiarize yourself with what the course would hold.  
•    Overall, it’s a chance to maximize the opportunity you have purely taken into your own hands to go over after earning your communications graduate degree.   

It’s easy to get swept up in the daily chaos of life and either overwork or not put enough effort into your classes.  For steady, continued success, it’s best to incorporate the flexibility of the program into your life.  If you know that you like to work out in the mornings before your day job or that you are the cook in your family, plan your coursework around your obligations so that one isn’t compromised for the other.  
“Enjoying the journey” is easier said than done.  However, I would say that if you go into a course with the intention to truly better your communication skills, learn from your professor and your peers, and grow in your current position, an M.S. in Communication course at Purdue would leave you satisfied.  I’ve personally found that the assignments that caused me the most stress either grew my work ethic or taught me how to prioritize and improve my time management skills.

One of the most exciting elements about the M.S. in Communication program is the opportunity to work with a new group of peers on a global scale each class. Also, each professor brings his or her unique skillset to the course.  

Though I am still in the program and not a graduating alum yet, I can already tell that “enjoying the journey” is an important takeaway so far.  Interacting with your peers can have many benefits – whether for networking or expanding your intellectual mindset. For me, it was surprising to find out how much one can identify with others around the globe, carry on a respectful discussion with varying opinions and grow through case study work. With all of that being said, you’re in the driver’s seat, but we would gladly like to welcome you to the journey that is the M.S. in Communication at Purdue!

Learn More About the Graduate School Experience

Megan Flanagan is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.

About the Author
Megan Flanagan is an internal communications specialist for UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a division of United Technologies Corporation, in West Palm Beach, Florida. Prior to her work in internal communications, Megan has experience working in social media, marketing/trade shows, HR communications, and corporate social responsibility in Connecticut and North Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.  During college, Megan blogged for Dormify about DIY projects and one of her posts was picked up in USA Today College.  Born and raised in New England, Megan currently loves living in the south. She lives with her boyfriend, Keith, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. When she's not reporting on the latest employee happenings or working on grad assignments, you can find her behind her camera, checking out a local farmers market, or working out in the gym or at the beach.

*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.